For anyone that has tried and failed to get a handle on scouting in MLB The Show it can be super frustrating. Depending on how you want to experience your game and how much input you want scouting prospects your franchise mode experience will vary. As we discussed briefly, Franchise Mode is dead to SDS – they aren’t talking about any improvements or features for the mode in any of their feature videos prior to release. In that spirit, as a Franchise Mode ‘purist’ I am sad, but also want to help you bring life to your experience. Today the focus is on the scouting system that has existed for quite some time.
Depending on your team needs you will want scouts that better fit your target areas.
As you can see, the Pirates have needs virtually everywhere. You will want to look deeper at your minor league rosters and see your highest potential players and possibly move your scouting efforts if you plan on bringing them up to the big leagues – less work is always better!
In the case of the Pirates in MLB 21 (using the late season version of Ridin Rosters) the Pirates need a lot of pitching help and they also need corner outfielders (RF/LF). One aspect that seems low at first glance is SS, but if you look at their depth in the minor leagues there are two ‘A’ potential players, so you can move forward with a scout focus initially on Pitching and Outfield.
The first thing you will want to do is look for scouts that have the highest Discovery Rating – these scouts will increase the amount of players you can actively scout. In the case below, we see that Marc Weilman has a high discovery rating and his focus for positions is position players (non-pitchers), but that is only 51, which is fittingly bad for the Pirates. The real point of concern is Efficiency which is 41. Compare that to MacKenzie McManus’ 89 Efficiency and you will see that the problem becomes obvious.
Upon setting your scouts up for discovery, you will want to make sure that they are allowed to go until you get a notification that they have discovered all available prospects for their assignment. After that, you will have a choice to make depending on their best scouting ability. If you are fortunate, their efficiency rating will be at least 75. This will allow you to scout players faster once you have assigned them to individuals which can be strangely clunky.
Once you have a player you think needs more focus, you need to put assign a scout to them by pressing square. Depending on your need, you will want to focus on their Potential and Overall. The scouting scale which is on the 80/20 range lets you know that anyone under 50 is most likely better off unscouted unless you look at their ratings such as Overall or a desired ability like hitting power or pitching command and decide they are worth a look.
EFFICIENCY IS EVERYTHING!!!
The most broken aspect of MLB The Show Franchise Mode is in how scouting is handled and built from the start. Anyone that pays attention to baseball scouting will tell you that it’s a year-round cycle. The Show makes it into a 2 1/2 month drive-through at White Castle experience. This means that if you keep Weilman assigned to discovery like I did, you lose 3.5 weeks to him simply finding right handed pitchers in the West Region. Meanwhile, McManus fully discovered lefties in the west and then fully scouted 4 pitchers by the time Weilman was finished only discovering. To this end, you want to make sure that you sign scouts that have high efficiency if at all possible.
While the region of a scout might play a role, I have found this to be nominal for the most part – so, buyer beware on trying to diversify your regions over everything (it doesn’t really matter much, if at all).
That said, and keeping this as short as possible here is my recommendation on how to handle scouting.
1 – Prior to any assignments, make sure all of your scouts have a 75 Efficiency rating. If they don’t, go into Contracts under the Acquisitions menu and find someone to replace them with.
2 – Assign two or three scouts with the highest discovery ability to discover players in their region in which you have the biggest need. Once they finish their area, move them to another region. You can also do the ‘scorched earth’ approach and assign your high discovery scouts to the same region and try to cover it even faster, the choice is yours.
3 – I recommend assigning your highest efficiency scout to your most noteworthy prospects (starting with 80 potential and working your way down).
4 – Once you’ve exhausted discovery, start assigning your scouts to different prospects (again, start with 80 potential). As the potential/overall changes you can decide if you’ve seen enough of a prospect. Generally, once a prospect drops below 65 Potential you can move on confidently looking for others.
5 – This really 4A, but have an idea of what matters most to you as you build your franchise. I have found that having high velocity against the cpu matters less for pitchers than command. Better control has been far more beneficial for me than simply throwing fire. This is similar for batters with contact ratings vs. vision. Do yourself a favor and press Triangle (Y on XBox) and look at the players a bit more closely.
6 – Keep a scouting diary/notebook! SDS has abandoned Franchise Mode and it’s sad but true that Madden at least has the ability to build a big board in the prospect menu. The Show basically forces you to try and remember every top player and the draft is an afterthought. You don’t have to do this, but it will help you as your franchise mode progresses.
7 – Scout intriguing low-rated prospects from May 15 until the draft starts. Give your scouts a day or two to get a rating together before you move on as this will give you a chance to find hidden talent and a reason to pay attention to the rounds 3-6 of the draft.